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The Daily Rundown

NBC's Chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd discusses the day's top political stories.

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Russia 16, Crimea 13, U.s. 11, Ukraine 11, Us 7, Washington 6, Syria 6, Obama Administration 5, D.c. 5, Moscow 5, Kay Bailey Hutchison 4, Obama 4, Europe 4, New York 4, Bill Karins 3, Benjamin Netanyahu 3, Kerry 3, Edward Jones 3, Nato 3, Austin 3,
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  MSNBC    The Daily Rundown    NBC's Chief White House correspondent Chuck  
   Todd discusses the day's top political stories.  

    March 3, 2014
    6:00 - 7:01am PST  

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>> the others are saying that obama's foreign policy is fantasy. there's a lot of treacherous road ahead for us. >> all right. i learned that our good buddy, john ridley, is our favorite of the oscar winner class. sir, you've come a long way from is he caw -- >> thank you, william. it's a cold war flashback sending chills up the spine of the west. while vladimir putin is getting an earful, are economic sanctions enough to make russia reverse course? secretary kerry heads to ukraine later today. back at home, it may actually be chillier inside than outside. when president obama and israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu meet today. we have new details from the reporter who sat down with the president to preview the meeting of the upcoming mideast peace talks. plus, whether you're talking presidents, governors, or
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gazillionaire gad flies, week two of the tdr 50 is ready to roll. good morning from a wild and winltry washington. as you can see behind me, it's monday, march 3rd, 2014. the government is closed today. we'll get to the first reads in a moment. let's get the latest on the winter storm system impacting more than 130 million people and has shut down the federal government yet again. new jersey just joined three other states and the district of columbia to declare a state of emergency. the storm system has iced roads and dropped temperatures across the ohio valley as well as into kentucky. nasa tweeted this image showing just how vast this storm system is. and right now, the northeast is getting the worst of it. this is the fourth time this winter that the federal government has shut down due to weather. more than 2,000 flights have either been delayed or cancelled. here's a live look at the misery map. it shows the hardest-hit
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airports -- new york city, boston, o'hare -- are faring the worst. once the snow is done, the cold sets in. we'll have a lot more this hour on the storm, including nbc meteorologist bill karins with the forecast for today. that's coming up in a few minutes. let's get to my first reads of the morning. the crisis in ukraine has escalated into an international confrontation. a standoff between russia and the west, unlike anything that's been seen since the fall of the soviet union. more than 20 years ago. it's one more bhig test for the obama administration on the world stage. over the weekend, russian forces occupied airports and an infantry base in the crimean peninsula, seizing operational control of the ukrainian region that is traditionally aligned itself with moscow. protesters for and against vladimir putin have broken out in cities all over ukraine, and this morning, russian forces seized a ferry terminal in kerch, possible landing point for more troops. it's all raising fears that putin is on the verge of
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invading the rest of ukraine in an effort to rest control from opposition forces that ousted a pro-russian president, viktor yanukovych 10 days ago. the interim prime minister said we're on the brink of disaster. nbc's bill nealy has more on russia's latest military maneuvers. >> reporter: they're exerting their control here without firing a shot. there are no tanks here. this isn't hungary '56 or czechoslovakia. their control almost complete. in the last hour or two, two pieces of news, russian fighter jets have flown over the black sea. ukraine says that's a violation of its airspace. the russians testing and probing ukraine and the west. also, moscow has decided to build a huge bridge between here, crimea, and the russian mainland. they are almost literally bringing the two bits together, crimea pulling away almost literally from ukraine. >> almost trying to annex it.
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putin's aggression has set off alarm bells in the united states and around the world. >> president putin is using force in a completely inappropriate manner that will invite the attention of the world, and it already is. he will not gain by this. you know, he may be able to have his troops for some period of time in crimea, unless he resolves this. but the fact is, he's going to lose on the international stage. russia is going to lose. the russian people are going to lose. >> well, does putin care about that? secretary kerry is headed to kiev to meet with the interim ukrainian government. in the meantime, he's warning putin that there will be consequences for russia's actions. >> there could even be ultimately asset freezes, visa bans. there could be certainly disruption of any of the normal trade routine. there could be business drawback on investment in the country.
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>> and that's sort of the most of the u.s. options, all are on the economic front. they begin and end with political and economic punishments. right now, the idea of putting some sort of boots on the ground to defend ukraine is not in the conversation. senator marco rubio mentioned a missile defense shield in eastern europe, but he wouldn't go any further than that. >> if you're asking me whether the u.s. should be taking military strikes against russian troops in ukraine or crimea, i would argue to you i don't think anyone is advocating for that. >> the obama administration is doing what it can to try to isolate moscow on the international stage. the u.s. and six other members of the g8 suspended a meeting to be held in june. members are likely to seek mediation. they're not crazy about economic sangs that might risk billions in trade between the e. urchlts
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and russia. one by one, the world leaders, the pope have come out urging restraint, but russia is forging ahead. this morning, foreign minister sergey lavrov insisted his government is acting in its own defense. here's nbc's jim maceda who has more from moscow. >> reporter: putin now has his hand on the russian crown jewel. crimea gives putin an essential warm water port, and it counters in his mind the nightmare scenario. that's what he sees as an ultranationalist government suddenly cancelling russia's lease on the black see base and kiev taking control of crimea and then joining nato down the line, bringing the enemy, in his mind, right back to russia's doorstep. so vladimir putin has made that calculus, and it's now unclear just what the west can do about
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it. chuck, back to you. >> thank you, jim. right now, according to folks i've talked to, the u.s. has three options, none of them involve the u.s. military. the first, the u.s. could move along with european allies to officially suspend or kick russia out of the g8. that would be symbolic. second, the administration could pursue its own sanctions that target russian banks as well as international sanctions, targeting russian oil companies. third, the u.s. may convince the european union to cancel some of its energy contracts with russia costing in exports. the assumption is that putin may care about the wallet. joining me, steve piefer, currently the director of the arms control initiative with the brookings institute, and jane harmon, ceo and president of the woodrow wilson center for international studies. welcome to both of you. ambassador, let me start with you, since you spent so much time in the country. you made a comment here about what russia's real goal is.
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they already had access to crimea. they had it as a port. everything they quote/unquote needed about the black sea they had. this is more than that. what does putin want? >> he was unhappy about the events in kiev 10 days ago, and what this is designed to do is destabilize the kiev government. i think most analysts a week ago thought putin would do something, but what we were thinking, it would be economic levers. >> so far more aggressive than anybody thought? everybody is frankly taken aback. >> it was a surprise, he jumped over the economic measures and went to full-scale military okay piegs of crimea. >> so this, of course, since the united states, jane, is so taken aback about what to do next, the question is to how to respond. i've noticed over the last 72 hours, it's been a slog for the obama administration to get the european allies -- >> that's a big point. putin has thrown away $51 billion of goodwill he bought in the sochi olympics. and i heard it here. i don't think there will be a g8
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summit in sochi. >> no, i expect a g7 summit somewhere -- >> well, that could happen. let's start with that. he's put a lot of stuff at risk. david ignatius has a great op-ed about how his response is catastrophic. there are dice ent options. the osce, the cooperation in europe, mediation idea is a pretty good idea. that would involve very muscular conversations in the near term. it's in no one's interests to have this go on, heavily armed russian troops are in danger of making a miscalculation if provoked, in the air over crimea. so i think -- i think those are the best options. we have to work with europe. if we operate unilaterally, we won't have the same impact. by the way, today is obama's meeting with bebe netanyahu.
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and that will play out. we didn't do the limited air strike in syria. that has had repercussions all throughout -- >> you think this is what made putin feel comfortable -- >> well, i understood obama's reasons not for doing that, but the way this played out, bush's actions plus obama's actions make the administration look weaker in russia's eyes. i'm not saying that's fair, but that's how they see it. >> and, ambassador, some of this is less about obama and more that putin made a calculation about the europeans, and that they're so addicted financially to russia. >> yeah. >> that they're not going to -- there's real economic sanctions the u.s. and world community could hit russia with, but the europeans may not like it. >> right. and there's actually a lot of russian money parked in western financial institutions. many of the europeans. so the obama administration is trying to work closely with the europeans, because any financial
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sanctions you might imply will be far more painful to the russians if it's a joint american-european effort. this is where putin has to be careful now. crimea is one thing. there've been these maneuvers north of ukraine. you hear this language coming out of moscow suggesting russians in eastern ukraine are somehow at risk. that's just nonsense. >> right. >> there's a military intervention into eastern ukraine, two things, one is in contrast to crimea, where the ukrainian military has been restrained, if they go into eastern ukraine, the ukrainian army will fight. that sends a huge message to europe. >> do you let crimea go? does it get -- it sounds like he wants to annex it. >> it's not up to me or you. it's up to ukraine. let me make three more points. there is a muslim minority in crimea. 12% of the population are tartars, and they have their friends and ethnic sympathi sympathizering on the russian side of the border. so there could be a new chechnya
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emerging here. these folks are very unhappy with what's happening. second of all, opportunity was missed in kiev to structure an interim government that included the east part of the country. that is one of the reasons -- zr actually, i think they tried. i heard the new government -- they went to the party of regions. this was the party of former president yanukovych, offered them positions, but they declined, in part, because the concern is this government, if they're serious, will have to make -- >> very quickly, what action this week do you expect the obama administration to do? >> there will be political sanctions, economic sanctions. you've seen the cancelling of a host of delegations -- >> postponing of trade. >> and exploiting with the europeans how you make this more painful. and after second -- after secretary kerry is in kiev tomorrow, i think go to brussels and -- >> i agree with that.
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i think that's part of what will happen. >> nato -- let nato's bravado get louder -- >> and i think the rhetoric will stay tough and hard, needs to, not provocative. putin is not going to back off this without some real effort to make it hurt him. >> and on crimea, you don't want to let it go. the question for the russians is, if you start redrawing borders, what about chechnya, and dagestan? >> an interesting domino effect. thank you both. a lot to do today. a lot to get into. you brought up the netanyahu meeting. march is living up to its moniker today, by the way, coming in like a lion, making for a cold, snowy start into the work week across much of the country. bill karins will be here next. he's tracking the storm. and there'll be a chill inside the oval office, perhaps today, when president obama and israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu meet. jeffrey goldberg sat down to preview the meeting. he'll be here next to talk about the harsh words that the
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president had for netanyahu. first, the politics planner. a lot has been suspended because of the weather and the federal government being shut down. when jake and i first set out on our own,
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first day of spring is still 17 days away. it can't come soon enough for just about -- well, all of us. let's bring in nbc meteorologist bill karins. this is the fourth time the federal government has shut down this winter. >> wow. >> how much snow has d.c. gotten so far this season? we've got to be getting close to the three-foot mark? maybe i -- >> i don't know, i knew were you curious about this. we've had 19.3 at reagan. so that's before the snow today. so just about 20 inches. typically -- >> look at the comparison.
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ha! >> the last two years, you guys had no snow at all. you went three years with nothing. a shock to your system. >> yes, it has been. >> maybe 25 inches by the time this one is said and done. >> this is pre this storm. >> yeah. >> going over the two-foot mark. >> yeah, a big deal in d.c., i don't know four times to shut down the government, but a couple of times. as far as what we're dealing with, the heavier snows have shifted south of d.c. they're getting ready for heavy snow in the richmond area. amazing it's snowing in richmond. it was 71 degrees, and sunny and warm. people were getting sunburned. and now snowing and 3 to 6 inches. when we're said and done, still 6 inches in the downtown d.c. area. new york didn't get hardly any. philadelphia about 2 to 4, and you're all done. chuck, the then to watch for tonight, this is going to be one of the coldest march nights ever in baltimore, philadelphia, and washington, d.c. tonight, we're going to be at 9 in d.c. if we got down to 5, you would tie your all-time coldest night
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for march. in recorded history. >> unbelievable. it feels like -- you almost want to laugh it's -- >> what are those cherry blossoms doing right about now? >> yeah, that's for sure. and this is dangerous cold. hopefully, we don't get power outages after this. >> good point. >> mr. karins, thank you, sir. president obama is offering more tough love to benjamin netanyahu. time is running out to negotiate an israeli-palestinian peace agreement. in an interview, the president is in full lecture mode. if not now, when? and if not you, mr. prime minister, then who? how does this get resolved? that's the president's questions. president echoed secretary of state john kerry, saying if netanyahu refuses to endorse a u.s. drafted framework agreement and peace talks fail, that the u.s. may not be able to protect israel from international
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isolation and potentially demographic disaster. if you see no peace deal and continue to aggressive settlement construction, says the president, if the palestinians come to believe that the possibility of a contiguous sovereign palestinian state is no longer within reach, then our ability to manage the international fallout is limited. the interview includes a few veiled maybe taps, not quite jabs, at kerry, who's generated some angst in the west wing, for drawing outside the lines in getting the mideast peace talks on the board. john reports to me almost weekly about progress, and occasionally asks for direction. i think john has done an extraordinary job, but these are difficult negotiations, implying it's now time for the president to step in. netanyahu will meet with leaders of both parties on capitol hill today. tomorrow, he'll speak to apac, largest pro-israel lobby in the united states. president obama is not scheduled to address the group for the second year in a row. arriving in washington, netanyahu responded to the president, telling reporters,
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quote, it takes at least three to dance, the middle east tango, referring to abbas. the man who sat down with the president, jeffrey goldberg. mr. goldberg, how are you, sir? >> good. >> so it's interesting here. the relationship between the president and netanyahu, intellectually the two of them have enormous respect for each other. but there is just not a lot of personal chemistry. and we know if netanyahu is looking for a way to feel offended, he might look at this interview and decide he feels offended. >> yeah. i don't think the white house thought that he would necessarily be offended, because this is -- >> because he's never been offended before? >> it is a at ttumultuous relationship, i have to say. it's gone years and it's been tumultuous. these are things that president obama has communicated to him in private. >> he has said it before. [ overlapping speakers ] >> -- in a concentrated dose. you know, yeah, he's trying to
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help carry, the president is, in the sense of saying, all right, guys, this is it. >> i have to raetd you this one quote here, where it comes -- you feel like as if obama is frustrated with netanyahu, quotes his mother, right, which is one of the things my mom used to tell me, and i didn't always observe, as i get older i agree with, if there's something you know you have to do, even if it's difficult or unpleasant, you might as well as just do it, because waiting isn't going to help. when i have a conversation with bebe, that's the essence of my conversation. >> if you're the new prime minister or the head of another state, you might find that slightly, you know, condescending or something. >> right. >> on the other hand, you know, i think the president believes, and john kerry believes, that netanyahu has extraordinary power and can actually shift this whole debate. and so, they're frustrated by how difficult this has been. >> it's interesting, you also talk to him about iran and syria. >> yeah. >> and on iran in particular,
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you question whether the iranians and, therefore by extension, the russians believe his all options are on the table threat. >> right. >> and you put it in terms of considering you walked back from syria, why do you think the iranians take you seriously. he was pretty defensive on this. >> he was defensive, but he's absolutely sure, or it seems he's absolutely sure that the iranians -- and he said this very specific -- the russians, the iranians, the syrians, and the russians all know that he meant to use force. and that's why syria agreed -- >> he believes to this day that that's why -- >> that is why. he says very specifically that the russians went to syria, the iranians went to syria, you're going to get hit by the americans unless you do x, y, and z. now, the problem is for obama in the middle east and more broadly, and that a lot of people don't believe he would use force in these circumstances. >> one other question that caught my eye, his answer, sunni
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extremism, shia extremism, what's worse, and a reference to iran and what's going on there. he didn't specifically talk about sunni extremism. what i thought was interesting was he assessed eed iran as a shrewd country that seems to have its act together maybe more than the western world gives it credit for. >> this was so interesting to me. he took the -- i asked him which is wort, sunni extremist or shia extremism, and you didn't answer on the sunni, but on the shia, he said, look, these are people that operate out of self-interests. they have logic. they're not suicidal. and this is not north korea. >> yeah, specifically saying these guys are not crazy. >> he's removing them from the axis of nutty evil, maybe not evil, but nutty evil. i was struck by that. he's signaling to a lot of people, no, give the iranians -- >> netanyahu thinks the iranians are wile e. coyote.
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>> netanyahu thinks they are an apocalyptic cult, and obama says, no, these are people we can deal with. >> it is. i'm considering one, considering there's not much to do, it will go on longer than they both want. they both can talk and they want to get their thoughts across. i have a feeling they're having dinner together. read the entire thing. good stuff. up next, another "the daily rundown" exclusive, steve israel is here to reveal his party's newest targets in their effort potentially to make gains in the house. are they really trying to take it back? we'll ask them that. first, today's trivia question. as texas takes its turn in our tdr 50, who was the first republican presidential candidate to win texas in a general election? the conversation about her mortgage didn't start here.
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another quick update on the weather. cools are closed, roads are a mess, temperature dropping, and many of the mid-atlantic states here, as the storm moves north this morning. nbc news correspondent richard louis joins me from independence mall in philadelphia. hey, richard, it looks a lot better there right now than it does here in d.c., no offense, brother. >> reporter: hey, none taken. you are absolutely right, my friend. you know, chuck, when an hour and a half ago is when the snow stopped here. we're in front of independence mall, as you were mentioning. and what is interesting is we could make history here again. forecasters saying if the temperature hits 5 degrees or less, which they are thinking it will happen, we will break here a 142-year record. we'll see if that does happen. the snow, though, won't break
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any records. this is light and fluffy. they've had 2 or 3 inches on the ground. that's not going to break any records, about a third of what the forecasters had originally thought. as you can see here on the mall, the tourists are out in full force. they delayed the opening by two hours. but they'll be opening the doors to independence hall here very shortly. chuck? >> well, that is nice. yeah, very clear. your camera shot. meanwhile, what's behind me, it's just a blizzardy mess. richard, thank you very much. try to stay warm. that is what is really terrifying about this storm. it's not the snow now. it's the deep freeze that's coming later today and tonight. hopefully, we don't lose power. coming up, our exclusive, steve israel, and taking a deep dive deep into the heart of texas as tdr 50 heads to the lone star state. you're watchingin'i "the daily
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back now with the battle for the house that seems to be changing every month. republicans continuely hold 232 house seats, democrats 199. there are four vacancies. it's an uphill fight. even democratic leaders admit that it's a long shot. today, though, the democratic congressional campaign committee is rolling out the first round of candidates in what it calls its red to blue program. 16 democrats running in republican districts where they believe they have fund-raising ability, organization, and infrastructure to win. ten of the 16 of the candidates are women, by the way. three districts with multiple democratic candidates have also qualified for this red to blue status. among them, gwynn graham, challenging sunderland, daughter of bob graham. and andrew romanov, a thorn in the side of democrats. this time, though, the party has gotten behind the house bid.
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and madison county judge ann cow stepped down from the bench. she has to get out of a democratic primary first that takes place in a couple of weeks. and new york's 11th, one of three new york districts on the list. recchia is hoping he can unseat grimm after a string of controversies, vowing to conduct himself more honorably in washington than grimm. they've identified four emerging races in four emerging districts where campaigns are trying to put longer seats in play. dewitt, running arkansas 4th district for the seat held by tom cotton, challenging mark pryor, and in virginia's 2nd, retired naval officer suzanne patrick is taking on scott ridgel, the second district is one that just come up inches away, and steve israel of new
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york joins me now. congressman, good morning to you, sir. >> thank you for having me on. >> well, i have to say it is hard not to look at your release today, 16 red to blue, but you need 17. it does sort of -- it feels as if you're not saying it, but your list admits 17 may be too tall of an order. is it? >> well, look, it's too early to say. this is the first rollout of red to blue. we have a total of 35 districts and candidates in play. charles cook says there are over 50 incumbent republicans in kpet tiv districts. there will be additional rollouts. i will say this, chuck, in october when the republicans shut down the government, people were saying we were definitely going to win the house. three weeks later, the same people were saying we were definitely not going to win the house. if three weeks can make a difference in the environment, who knows what the next eight months will bring. >> fair enough. candidate recruiting is everything. i remember various conversati s conversations. i know on one hand you've had people that you've had
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conversations with, that have said, you know what, talk to me in '16 when they think it will be more democrats, knowing democratic voters, hillary clinton at the top of the ticket, the shutdown, it got you a few candidates you didn't think you would get because of the environment change in that small period of time. but have you found that you still are struggling getting some people off the fence because they'd rather run in a presidential year? >> no, not at all. in fact, you went through the list. what unifies these top-tier candidates right now is the fact that they are problem solvers. you know, we didn't have to recruit many of them. they recruited themselves because they'd had it with the shutdowns, with republican recklessness and irresponsibility. they are problem solvers in battleground districts. this is our initial rollout. there will be more. we'll have a very competitive battlefield as we go into -- deeper into the cycle. >> you know rkt since november 1, i want to point something out to you, and you can't help but wonder for someone like me, this to me is one of the telltale signs.
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dingell, miller, waxman, maran, mccarthy, with nine or more terms behind them, since november 1 decided to retire. all of them cite different reasons. but collectively, i can't help but wonder if they thought a chairmanship was coming soon, they'd have stuck around? >> well, people make their decision for different reasons. there are 11 republicans, senior republicans, who decided to leave the congress because they knew they were no longer welcome in a tea party congress as moderates. the fact is that the numbers stack up very favorably for us with respect to vacancies. 11 republican districts are now competitive, because republican incumbents left. three, a total of three democratic districts are more competitive because of democratic departures. i'll take the three and fight for the three. we'll let the republicans fight in those 11. >> florida 13, special election coming up. i think basically we're 10 days away. if you can't win this seat, what kind of message does that send
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nationally? >> well, chuck, you know, every district has its own unique dynamics and terrain. this is a very tough terrain for us. here's why. in a typical election, a federal election, it's a fairly competitive democratic district. and in special election, in an off-year, it is an r-plus 13 discorrect. 13 more republicans in turnout. it's a tossup. >> sounds like you're nerve -- >> no, i'm realistic. i'm realistic. we always say, this is a tossup district, but the turnout is r-plus 13 district, so it's on the ground. >> a win gives you some wind. but does a loss send a message nationally if you can't -- if you can't win a district like this, how do you get to 17? is that fair? >> you know, that's day after. i'm not all that interested in the day after. i'm more focused on putting everything we have into winning these races, race by race, presengt by precinct, house by house. we do this in realtime and we
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worry about the narrative after election day. >> all right. steve israel, very quickly, national or a local elections? what will be better for democrats if they nationalize a race or localize it? >> look, republicans have a 13% job approval. they shut down the government. they're reckless, extreme, irresponsible. this will be a ref ring dumb on a republican house of representatives that has a 13% job approval. >> all right. so you want a nationalized environment. all right, steve israel, thank you for coming on. we'll take a look, the entire list is on their website. you'll see the seats that are -- they believe are in play right now and ones they think they'll get in play. thank you, sir. >> thanks, chuck. we got word the white house is cancelling the daily briefing with jay carney thanks to the nasty weather here in d.c. most of d.c. is shut down today. this is a live look here at the markets. way down this morning after the opening bell. can't help but wonder if this is the impact of russia and ukraine. the russian stock market crashed overnight, as well.
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up next, our tdr 50 rolls into texas, where they're chowing down on chicken tortilla at austin's famous magnolia cafe. see that? we don't need a white house soup of the day anymore. we're going straight to austin. so our business can be on at&t's network for $175 a month? yup. all 5 of you for $175. our clients need a lot of attention. there's unlimited talk and text. we're working deals all day. you get 10 gigabytes of data to share. what about expansion potential? add a line, anytime, for $15 a month.
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an apron is not quitting until you've made something a little better. what does an apron have to do with car insurance? for us, everything. all right. i missed this one. it was herbert hoover who was the first republican presidential candidate to win texas in a general election. hoover beat al smith in a landslide, and he carried texas, as well. congratulations to today's winner, oliver character. i think you've won before, because i've probably made some bad pun regarding your twitter handle. send the trivia suggestions to san diegorundown@msnbc.com. we'll be back with the texas kickoff "deep dive." why? because selling their funds makes them more money. which makes you wonder. isn't that a conflict? search "proprietary mutual funds". yikes!! then go to e*trade.
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oh, the monday "deep dive"
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that kicks off week two of the tdr 50. we're going to dive into the lone star state, to paraphrase the old phrase everything is bigger in texas, including the political personalities. >> men want to be part of a common enterprise, a cause greater than themselves. >> read my lips -- no new taxes. >> if you give us a chance, we can perform. after all, ginger rogers did everything that fred astaire did. she just did it backwards and in high heels. >> i just love the fact that everybody, particularly in the media, goes bonkers over the town hall. i guess it's because you lose your right to tell them what they think. the point is they'll get to decide what to think. >> tonight, the state of the union is strong and together we will make it stronger.
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>> well, let me just ask you, are you better off today than you were $4 trillion ago? >> that's just in the modern era here from sam houston to ted cruz, it seems that texas has had more than its share of notable politicians making national headlines. and for good reason, it's one of the most consequential states in the nation. they went for democrats in almost every election. eisenhower and nixon were the only republicans to win the state in that time period. the state was run by conservative white democrats. but as the democratic party moved to the left, the republican party became home for the state's more social conservatives. by 1980, the shift was complete and the state had sided with the republican presidential candidate in every election since. we mentioned that the state's red streak began back in 1980. one common denominators, between
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1980 and 2004, a bush was on the ballot in every presidential election except one, '96. today, texas is one of nearly o two dozen states where one party controls all three branches of government. one note, while the state has been reliably red over the last few decades, it does have an interesting independent streak of sorts. two of the most notable independents to run for president, ron paul and ross perot, both from texas. over the last three-plus decades, texas has grown in size and political importance. back in 1980, texas had 26 electoral votes, by the election of 2012, it was all the way up to 38. only california has more with 55. that's because the lone star state continues to expand at an astounding rate. back in the middle of the 20th century, texas was adding about a million people every seven years or so. the rate has doubled in recent
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years. texas added 1.3 million in the last three years alone. that's the equivalent of an entire city of dallas. population stands 26 million, second only behind california, but what is particularly fascinating is how the makeup of the state is changing. immigration has played a role, of course, more than 1/3 hispanic twice the national average. in fact, the number of hispanics are expected to surpass whites in 2020. that's got some republicans sounding the political alarm. >> texas will be a democrat state within ten years if you don't change. that means we evolve, doesn't mean we give up on what we believe in, but we have to be a more welcoming party. >> but for at least the last 12 years, democrats have been telling me and others, just wait, four more years, you'll see the shift.
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didn't happen in 2002 when texas democrats had an hispanic governor. didn't quite work out, push for more women in office hasn't done it either. right now, it's the hispanic vote that's fielding democrats' dreams in texas, but for now, you got to say, texas remains solidly in the hands of the gop, the question is, how long? joined now by two top political texans and veterans of political war. kay bailey hutchison and democratic congressman martin frost. welcome to both of you. >> thank you. >> senator hutchison, let me start with you. you were part of this transition. you were -- your win in that special election was sort of the precursor to republican dominance coming that '94 election. when you hear democrats talk of making texas competitive again, do you think it's all talk, or do you think there's something that's going to happen soon in
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texas? >> i do think that the democrats are going to make significant gains, but not in the near term. i think it will be further out, and i think it's something that republicans need to look at and be very concerned about, because we've got to stay in the mainstream of the conservative movement, but not go so far out that we lose the independence and the great spirit of texas, as you pointed out. >> you know, martin, what's interesting is you look at what texas democrats are doing this year and on one hand, wendy davis is sparking a lot of national interest, raising a lot in the gubernatorial race, yet you were telling me, the party is still not a strong party in the state of texas if its u.s. senate nominee is going to end up being a leroux. the fact they have to fight and spend money from getting the nomination, that's what parties that have no chance in a state
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have to do. >> look, this is a fluke. we didn't get anybody well known to run for the senate. there's a woman with a short last name, she wants to impeach the president. we're working hard, the party is working hard to make sure she's not the nominee, but look at the governor's race, we're going to have the first really well funded candidate in a long time. i think she's got a shot. it's a self fulfilling prophesy we can't win if we don't run. we have a good candidate, we have to run. >> senator, you eluded to it a minute ago about the future of the republicans, and that is, here's a state that demographically if democrats do register a lot of these unregistered voters that are hispanics, you can see raw vote totals to make it more competitive, but just in this moment in time, the republican party is still a race to the right to get a nomination. you've been a victim of this and challenged rick perry in a
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primary. he beat you by going right. even texas, the state only wants to be center right. how does the republican party deal with this? >> first of all, we have reached out to hispanics for a long time. the republican party is friendly to hispanics, and we have strong hispanic members of the legislature, members of our county commissioners courts, we have mayors, and these are republican hispanics, so i think really texas is a model for how you bring in the hispanic population that is certainly growing, but it's not hostile to the republican party here. i carried the hispanic vote in at least one of my elections, and george w. bush always got in the 40% range, so we're not the typical problem area for hispanics that some of the national republicans have been. >> and martin, that has been the reason why a lot of people say texas republicans have hung on a lot longer than florida
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republicans, for instance. >> i was down in austin last weekend for a family event, and i turned on the television to watch the commercials, and every republican running for lieutenant governor, every republican running for attorney general, was trying to get to the right of the next one, and the republican party just racing headlong to the far right, they are not going to do well among hispanics. senator hutchison and bush were exceptions. >> let me ask you this, martin, do you believe if the republican party were in the mold of kay bailey hutchison, the democrats would have a farther way to go? >> absolutely, and unfortunately, kay was defeated significantly by rick perry in the primary. i think kay was a very good united states senator. they don't want to be there. that's the problem. they don't want to be kay bailey hutchison. >> senator, that's the challenge here for the republicans, right? >> well, i think we've got to reach out and make sure we have a majority so that we can continue to governor and can i give a shoutout to matthew mcconaughey, a u.t. graduate? >> texan.
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>> u.t. graduate. >> cate blanchett's father was a texan. >> more texas connections. kay bailey hutchison, martin frost, thank you much. that's it for this edition of "the daily rundown." coming up next is chris jansing. tdr 50 week rolls on. tomorrow, the texas primary. bye-bye. i'm meteorologist bill karins. because of our winter storm, travel very difficult. right through the midatlantic, heavy snow throughout the morning hours from areas of southern new jersey, philadelphia, all the way down to richmond with the bullseye right around washington, d.c. also still bitterly cold from dallas through the northern plains. have a great monday. the end.
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